GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (Dec. 31, 2012) – Kevin Poulin came on in relief of Anders Nilsson to open the third period and stopped all 17 shots he faced in regulation and overtime, as well as three of four shooters in the shootout, as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers defeated the Adirondack Phantoms 4-3 on New Year’s Eve. The Sound Tigers have won four straight games and improve to 17-12-1-2 overall. The Phantoms earn a point with the shootout loss and their record stands at 13-16-1-1.
Sound Tigers head coach Scott Pellerin was proud of his team’s ability to earn the extra point and play strong down the stretch after Adirondack netted three second-period goals to erase the Sound Tigers' lead.
“I made the change in goal just to wake the guys up a little bit,” Pellerin said. “You have to find ways to put teams away, you have to find ways to solidify games and play 60 minutes. Tonight was a learning experience, and it was great to get two points out of it.”
The Sound Tigers got on the board just 27 seconds into the game, marking the fourth straight game in which the Sound Tigers have scored in the first two minutes of regulation. Matt Watkins gathered a loose puck to the left of the Adirondack net and banked it in past Phantoms goalie Scott Munroe for his sixth goal of the year to give the Sound Tigers a 1-0 lead.
Johan Sundstrom pushed the Sound Tigers lead to two goals 1:38 into the second period. Matt Donovan fired a shot from the left point, Nino Niederreiter initially deflected the puck and Sundstrom added a second tip to send it past Munroe for his ninth goal of the year. Less than six minutes later, John Persson gave the Sound Tigers a three-goal lead, sending a wrist shot past Munroe’s glove for his 11th tally of the season. Munroe was then replaced in favor of Cal Heeter after allowing three goals on 17 shots.
The goaltending switch sparked the home team and the Phantoms responded with three goals to even the score. Jeff Dimmen collected the puck in the slot on a blocked shot and sent a shot through Nilsson’s five-hole at the 9:48 mark of the middle frame to put Adirondack on the board. Just 3:30 later, Adirondack forced a turnover behind the Sound Tigers net and Sean Couturier sent a one-timer from the slot past Nilsson to cut their deficit to one. The Phantoms evened the score with 1:47 left in the second period, when Brandon Manning collected the puck behind the Sound Tigers net, crashed the post to Nilsson’s right and jammed the puck past the goal line to knot the score at 3-3.
Poulin and Heeter made big saves in the final period and overtime to send the game to the bonus round. Nino Niederreiter, David Ullstrom and Jon Landry all scored in the bonus round, and Jason Akeson netted the lone goal for the Phantoms. Eric Wellwood was Adirondack’s final hope with the Sound Tigers leading the shootout 3-1, but Kevin Poulin made the final stop to earn the victory in relief of Nilsson.
The Sound Tigers return to action this Friday when they travel to Providence to face the Bruins at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Notes: With the win, the Sound Tigers have points in nine of their last 10 games (7-1-1-1) … Nine different Sound Tigers recorded a point in the game … The Sound Tigers PK unit was a perfect 5-for-5, has killed 26 straight penalties and has killed 31 of its last 32 penalties … Four of the Sound Tigers past five road games have gone past regulation (2-0-1-1).
Three stars 1. ADK: Cal Heeter 2. ADK: Brandon Manning 3. BRI: Johan Sundstrom
Bridgeport Sound Tigers Forwards 23 John Persson - 11 Casey Cizikas - 13 Colin McDonald 24 David Ullstrom - 28 Johan Sundstrom - 22 Nino Niederreiter 42 Brandon DeFazio - 14 Matt Watkins - 20 Blair Riley 40 Mike Halmo - 4 Scott Campbell - 16 Sean Backman
Defensemen 46 Matt Donovan - 6 Ty Wishart 27 Aaron Ness - 8 Nathan McIver 25 Jordan Hill - 7 Jon Landry
Goaltenders 45 Anders Nilsson (starter) 28 Kevin Poulin
Adirondack Phantoms Forwards 16 Tye McGinn - 10 Brayden Schenn - 38 Jason Akeson 22 Eric Wellwood - 14 Sean Couturier - 25 Matthew Ford 24 Harry Zolnierczyk - 9 Rob Bordson - 26 Zac Rinaldo 13 Zack FitzGerald - 18 Tyler Brown - 11 Shane Harper
Defensemen 6 Matt Konan - 5 Danny Syvret 28 Brandon Manning - 42 Jeff Dimmen 7 Oliver Lauridsen - 20 Cullen Eddy
Goaltenders 33 Scott Munroe (starter) 35 Cal Heeter